Spanish Prosecutors Investigate Alleged Sexual Assault by Football Federation President

The Spanish criminal court has initiated a preliminary investigation into Luis Rubiales, the president of the country’s football federation, following an incident where he kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips. The prosecutors are looking into whether this act amounts to a crime of sexual assault. The investigation was opened in light of Hermoso’s non-consensual claim and aims to determine the legal significance of the incident. In addition, legal experts will reach out to Hermoso and offer her the option of taking legal action if she wishes to file a complaint against Rubiales.

This investigation has received significant attention and has led to widespread criticism of Rubiales. He has already been suspended by FIFA, the governing body of world football, and there are calls for his resignation. The Spanish government has also requested the suspension of Rubiales by the Sports Tribunal, and this request will be discussed in a meeting on Monday. The Spanish football federation has scheduled an urgent meeting to evaluate the situation.

The incident has highlighted the issue of systemic male chauvinism in Spain, with the acting Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz stating that it represents the worst form of Spanish society. Diaz called for a change in social attitudes and better protection for victims of sexual harassment and violence.

The investigation has prompted various reactions from different parties involved. Rubiales issued an apology for anyone who was offended and claimed that the kiss was consensual. However, Hermoso released a statement contradicting Rubiales’ claim, stating that at no point was the kiss consensual. In support of Hermoso, 81 Spanish players, including the entire Women’s World Cup squad, announced that they would not play for Spain’s women’s team until Rubiales is removed from his position.

The situation has also caused turmoil within the Spanish football federation. World Cup-winning head coach Jorge Vilda criticized Rubiales, and his entire coaching staff resigned in protest against the federation president. The federation has also announced its intention to take legal action against “each falsehood that is spread”.

In the midst of this controversy, Rubiales’ mother has taken drastic action by going on a hunger strike in a church in his hometown. She claims that her son is the victim of an “inhuman hunt” and described the situation as unfair.

The preliminary investigation by Spanish prosecutors is a significant development in this case. It will shed light on whether the act of kissing Hermoso without her consent constitutes a crime of sexual assault. This investigation has amplified the discussion around consent and the treatment of women in sports. It has also raised questions about accountability within the football federation and the need for cultural and structural changes to combat male chauvinism in Spanish society.

Moving forward, it is crucial to allow the legal process to unfold and for all parties involved to cooperate fully with the investigation. The protection and support of victims of sexual assault should be prioritized, and any allegations made in this case should be taken seriously. It is essential for the sports community to address and rectify any issues of sexual harassment and violence within the industry, fostering an environment where all athletes feel safe and respected.